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Posted in Personal Injury on May 22, 2020   |  by Gary Burger

Burger Law Policies for Reopening and Operating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we return to the office after the Stay-At-Home order, it is critical that precautionary measures are followed to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

This provides guidelines for our staff to return to the workplace. The most effective tool for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus is physical distancing, but there are other measures we can take to stop the spread and provide a safe workspace.

Remember that responses to the pandemic, best practices, and how we run our firm is rapidly changing, so the policies in here may change as well.

1. Do not come to work if you are sick. Employees must quarantine or isolate if they have or are believed to have COVID-19 or have come into contact with individuals who have COVID-19. Remain at home if you are unwell or have been in close contact with someone who is sick. You are required to quarantine or isolate if you have or are believed to have COVID-19, or if they have come into contact with individual(s) with COVID-19.

Please adjust your personal behavior to control the likelihood of exposure. Remember your responsibility to protect yourself and others by following protocols for minimizing the risk of infection. Please see Gary if you cannot and special arrangements will be made for you to work from home.

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, muscle aches, chills, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
  • Employees with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, or who answer yes to any of the screening questions are not be allowed to enter the workplace.
  • Employees who develop any symptoms of respiratory illness while at work must immediately be sent home.
  • Employees with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance.
  • Employees who are sent home with symptoms should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation or they have been cleared to return by their healthcare provider.

2. Staggered Shifts: We have had people work or access our business from home since March 15, 2020. We will reopen. Beginning the week of _____, each team should spend at least one day working in the office to get acclimated. We will schedule to spread out that day.

Beginning the week of ____we will return to the office for staggered shifts or schedules. We will also move work stations around to social distance. We may use some of our new space on the 14th floor to do this as well.

3. Reduce contact between people:

  • use technology to facilitate communication;
  • stay further apart.
  • We have or will be reconfiguring space to comply with Social Distancing Requirements by ensuring people are able to maintain 6 ft. of distance from each other.
  • We already have physical barriers between people to reduce transmission. Let’s respect those.
  • Stay in your cubicle or office when working at the office.
  • Work with your door closed.
  • To talk to someone, call them on intercom, use google etc.

4. Finish change to Paperless office: We need to become a virtual/paperless office so we are not exchanging paper and carting around files. To that end:

  • All documents get scanned and saved on x drive.
  • All notes an dmatters about a file are kept in filevine.
  • All updates, notes and communicaitons are documented in filevine and not on paper.
  • Link emails to filevine and text and email clients through filevine.
  • All photos, discovery, attachments to emails etc. are to be saved on the X drive.
  • Subfiles in X drive have to be organized.
  • No printing med records or documents.
  • Send pdfs of letters to everyone you can. Don’t mail stuff.
  • Ask for all med records via HI-TECH request
  • No printouts or paper copies of depos. Just put them on x drive.
  • Arrange for contactless payment, pick-up, and delivery options whenever feasible
  • Use docusign for everything

5. Zoom everything: All depositions that can be done by Zoom or video conference will be. Same with client conferences, large firm meetings, court appearances, etc.

6. Do not meet with clients or have them come into the office. Have a zoom meeting with them. Open a free zoom account with your own burgerlaw email address.

7. Socially Distance: ensure six feet of distance between employees. We have to limit the number of employees, clients or visitors in our office at any one time so that each of them can follow social distancing practices. Do not gather in the kitchen, conference room or at copiers.If you see someone in the hall, keep six feet of distance between them.

8. Personal Protective Equipment: Each employee is required to have a face mask(s) and wear a face mask coming into and leaving the office building, and if you are walking around downtown. Do not touch surface in the building. Wash your hands if you do. Use of protective equipment is an effective risk mitigation strategy. Bring your own hand sanitizer. Latex or protective gloves are permitted.

The firm can also supply PPE. But with shortages, all employees are encouraged to acquire their own. Any employee able to supply Clorox or other disinfectant or sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer to the firm will be reimbursed their expense.

9. Frequent Sanitation: You are required to conduct frequent sanitation of all high touch surfaces, such as restrooms, shared computers, check-out areas, carts, baskets, and any other areas that may be frequently touched by clients, employees, or any other individuals.

  • take breaks for hand washing or sanitizing opportunities throughout the day;
  • Neither you nor visitors can bring outside containers, including reusable bags or boxes, into the facility;
  • Your workspace and any area you work must be sanitized and disinfected (wiped down) at the beginning and end of your shift at minimum.
  • Plan how will you implement sanitizing and disinfection of workspaces?
  • clean between uses of conference room
  • Do not share equipment such as phones and keyboards.
  • If this is not followed we will have a staff member responsible for monitoring this.

10. Visitor Protocol: Let’s keep guests to a minimum. No non-essential visitors during initial re-entry to maintain social distancing guidelines. Advise visitors of screening, social distancing, and face-covering policies for the building and our office through posted signage.

11. Conference Room: Limited to 5 people - ensure social distancing.

  • stocked with disinfectant wipes with adequate time allotted for appropriate cleaning between uses;
  • Reconfigure conference room tables and chairs to accommodate 6 feet of space between participants.
  • Limit conference room capacity to accommodate configuration with 6-foot distancing.
  • Place signage on conference tables encouraging the practice of safe distancing.

12. Signage at the Firm: Strategically post signs promoting social distancing per CDC guidelines at office entrances/ exits, kitchen and conference room; Label the floor at your reception desks to indicate 6-foot distancing.